Hannah’s Report / October 2011
12 weeks in Cannes (Sept/Dec 2011)
Report One (see end of blog for : Report Two)
Am writing this having been in Cannes
for about 1½ weeks, although I feel so at home here
it could have been months!
Am having a really lovely time, meeting new people almost every day, spending afternoons on the beach, getting to know my way round Cannes.. And learning lots too!
In fact, the lessons are great – it’s not just grammar which we study (although we do enough for me to already feel like I’m improving after 1 week) but loads of really interesting topics. The approach in lessons is different every day so you never get bored and time goes by much more quickly than it ever did at school!
I’m working as part of the ‘equipe d’animation’ which means I do a few shifts every week in the snack bar. I have to admit it doesn’t feel much like work as there’s always someone there to help you out and keep you amused. So far I haven’t had one shift which has been a chore (don’t want to speak too soon though..!). The huge upside of working in a team like ours is that it means I am constantly speaking French and picking up new words and phrases, something I love. I already feel so much more comfortable expressing myself and am getting much more fluid.
There really are great people here, studying and working (or both, like me!) that you’re never bored, and you can always be learning something new about someone’s culture or language. There’s just a brilliant atmosphere in the whole college.. I couldn’t feel better about my time here so far!
I can’t believe it’s already December, and I’m heading home soon. Time here in Cannes has gone by so incredibly fast that I have hardly had time to stop and reflect on what an amazing time I’ve had and how many great friends I’ve made.
Having originally decided to apply for the scholarship with the intention of improving my French, I can say for definite that it was worth it – I am so much more confident now and am able to express myself in almost any conversation, and feel at ease being part of a group speaking French. My grammar is nowhere near perfect but I have made progress, and some rules which I would never have understood on paper have become second nature just because I hear them being spoken all the time. I would certainly recommend this method of ‘living the language’ to absolutely anyone who has the opportunity.
The college has quietened down now as we’ve said goodbye to a number of groups and individuals and it’s nearly the end of the season. Although it was sad to see friends leave, it’s still fun here and everyone is really close having spent so much time together. I’m still enjoying work in the bar, and have become a very proficient panini maker, hopefully a skill I can take advantage of in the UK.
Something I have really benefitted from is the fact I can go along on some of the college excursions. I’ve visited Grasse – the capital of perfume, Aix en Provence which was so pretty I’ve been wanting to go back ever since and Nice which is so close and so easy to get to. I’ve also been olive picking with a local family who treated us to a real provencale lunch as a thank-you for helping them with their harvest, and have visited the Ile St-Marguerite which is ten minutes by ferry from the old port here in Cannes.
Most importantly, I have met so many different and wonderful people and learnt alot from them. We all get along brilliantly and are such a diverse group being from such a variety of countries and cultures that it is certainly a unique experience. I have an awfully long list of places to visit in the future now with friends in all corners of the world!
I don’t want to go on for too long but all in all my time at the college will be a memory I will treasure and I know for certain that when I go home in December I will not be saying goodbye to Cannes for too long – I’ve fallen in love with the Cote d’Azur!
A huge thankyou to CESA for giving me this opportunity!